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Fool’s Gold

October 5th, 2013  |  Published in Serendipity


My wife calls what’s the process of sifting through the thousands of books at Serendipity mining for gold.

This was the first shiny object we found: an old painting with the hint of a signature in the lower left corner. We took the picture out of its frame and the name was Howard Pyle, one of the great illustrators of the 19th and early 20th century. If real, it would be a five-figure painting.

Hopes rose.

The problem, however, is that it didn’t look like a Howard Pyle. The second factor working against it was that Peter Howard would not have left a Howard Pyle lying around.

Then we cleaned the dust off the painting and discovered that the signature read “from Howard Pyle” and that the artist had signed illegibly on the the right side.

As any gold miner knows, you have move a lot of rock to find a few nuggets. So it’s back to the mines.

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